WEDNESDAY’S PENS BUZZ
*On Pens being handcuffed at the deadline, third line center spot a worry and Pens seeing strong importance of Crosby getting game action before the playoffs*
PENS HANDCUFFED THEMSELVES AT THE DEADLINE
GM Ray Shero is comfortable with his hockey club moving forward after coming up empty at the deadline. However, sources indicate there is some disappointment/frustration from Shero and his staff that they weren’t able to add a few pieces in what the team feels is a wide open Eastern Conference.
NHL sources say what handcuffed the Penguins at the deadline was that they weren’t willing to move anyone off their roster for a rental player, as teams had interest in the likes of Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi.
POST-DEADLINE: THIRD LINE CENTER SPOT BIGGEST CONCERN
The biggest concern for the Penguins coming out of the deadline is their third line center spot, assuming Sidney Crosby is not able to play in the playoffs or get through a playoff series at any point. As good as Crosby looks on the ice right now, there’s no guarantees that translates to him playing or being symptom free for an extended period.
Getting caught in a playoff matchup with lets say Boston and having Joe Vitale or Richard Park as the team’s third line center is worrisome. Dustin Jeffrey’s inability to lock down the third line center spot is an issue with this team right now. Jeffrey by the way will be a healthy scratch tonight vs Dallas.
FEAR OF CROSBY BEING THROWN RIGHT INTO A PLAYOFF GAME
Going into tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars, Sidney Crosby has only played in 8 of the Penguins last 110 games (including 2011 playoffs). Last April near the end of the regular season when Sidney Crosby was gearing up for a possible return, there were serious concerns inside the organization of Crosby being thrown right into a playoff game/atmosphere. This year I hear there are similar concerns (not as big) and both sides are said to know the importance of Crosby returning before the playoffs and getting some game action in the regular season.